Implied repairing covenants

In Liverpool City Council v Irwin, [1976] 2 W.L.R. 562, (HL)) I was the tenant of a maisonette on the ninth and tenth floors of a multi-storey building. The staircases were unlit, the lifts were often out of order and the rubbish chute was often blocked. These common parts were in the ownership and control of the City Council (the Landlord). The lease contained only obligations on the part of the tenant. The House of Lords held that there was an implied obligation on the landlord to take reasonable care to keep those common parts in reasonable repair and usability. The implication was justified by the nature of the contract, the actions of the parties and the circumstances. The maisonette could not be occupied unless these common parts were in order. The test was one of necessity. The House of Lords was careful to reject the idea that the courts were free to imply an obligation merely because it would be reasonable to do so.

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